It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and there is no shortage of celebrations taking place at all of your favorite theme parks! From special events to exclusive shows and parades, this guide has everything you need to know about this year’s holiday festivities in Orlando.
Walt Disney World
There is a great variety of unique festivities to take part in all across Walt Disney World Resort! You will find special celebrations of all kinds at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Disney Springs.
The long-standing holiday celebration at Magic Kingdom is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The separately ticketed event takes over the park on select nights all throughout the season. Guests of Mickey’s major bash can enjoy extra special entertainment, festive overlays on popular attractions, holiday dining, and exclusive character experiences. This year’s event also features a brand new evening spectacular called Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks!
You can also celebrate the season at Magic Kingdom with a whole slew of holiday treats available daily for a limited time around the park! The festive offerings include:
- Olaf’s Frozen Hot Chocolate Cake ($6.99 – Main Street Bakery): Gluten-friendly chocolate cake layered with chocolate crispy pearls, chocolate panna cotta, and marshmallow fluff
- Santa Mickey Waffle Sundae ($7.79 – Sleepy Hollow): Red velvet waffle topped with mint-chip ice cream, seasonal sprinkles, chocolate sauce, and peppermint powder
- Snowflake Brownie ($4.29 – Casey’s Corner): Chocolate brownie decorated with sugar snowflakes and icing
- Holiday Mickey Cinnamon Roll ($5.29 – Main Street Bakery): Mickey-shaped cinnamon roll garnished with red and green icing and a white chocolate Mickey Santa hat
- Christmas Cookie Milkshake ($7.99 – Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies): Cookie butter milkshake topped with whipped cream and a Mickey marshmallow straw
- Christmas Cookie Sundae ($6.49 – Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies): Cookie butter soft-serve topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, and a white chocolate piece
- Gingerbread Sundae ($6.49 – Storybook Treats): Gingerbread soft-serve sundae topped with whipped cream, gingerbread pieces, and a Minnie Mouse waffle topper
- Cherry & Pistachio Float ($5.99 – Aloha Isle): Cherry and pistachio swirl soft-serve served cold over hot chocolate
- Christmas Churros ($6.19 – Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe): Mini churros topped with red and green sprinkles served with chocolate dipping sauce
- Deck the Halls ($8.99 – Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe): Frozen eggnog topped with whipped cream, confetti sprinkles, and a chocolate bulb
The Epcot International Festival of Holidays allows you to experience the one-of-a-kind celebrations that take place all over the world during the holiday season. In World Showcase and beyond, guests will get a first-hand look at the Christmas traditions that are honored in a variety of different countries and cultures. The spirit of the season is brought to life with live entertainment, holiday kitchens, and more! You’ll find the complete roster of Christmas fun in the guide to this year’s Festival of Holidays.
The park is also home to the long-standing holiday experience “Epcot Candlelight Processional“. The annual show features various celebrity narrators retelling the story of Christmas on stage at America Gardens Theater with the help of a 50 piece orchestra and a mass choir.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The holiday season at Disney’s Hollywood Studios brings a “flurry of fun” to the park with festive shows, beautiful decor, “snowfalls” and more!
Sunset Seasons Greetings is an incredible projection show that takes place on the side of the Hollywood Tower Hotel. The show displays fun stories told by Mickey, Minnie, Olaf, and other Disney friends with the help of incredible laser effects and familiar music.
During the holiday season, days at Hollywood Studios end with the epic Jingle Bell Jingle BAM! spectacular at the Chinese Theater. The building and rooftops come to life during the 14-minute show that follows the stars of ABC’s Prep & Landing on the hunt for a missing Santa Claus
New this year to the park is a whole bunch of seasonal fun inside Toy Story Land and a special holiday finale starring Olaf at “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-A-Long”. The Christmas celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios takes place daily through January 5, 2020.
There is also a variety of delicious holiday treats available for a limited time at select locations around the park. Some of the seasonal offerings (available until January 5, 2020) include:
- Holiday Blondie (Backlot Express): Blondie made with orange peel, dried cranberries, and slivered almonds topped with white chocolate ganache
- Elsa’s Magical Macarons (The Market and BaseLine Tap House): White and blue macaron shells with white chocolate and gingerbread ganache
- Chestnut Pinecone (Backlot Express and Trolley Car Cafe): Chestnut mousse on milk chocolate sweetened crepe with powdered sugar snow
- Mickey’s Santa Hat Chocolate Mousse (ABC Commissary): Vanilla shortbread topped with chocolate cake, dark chocolate mousse, dark chocolate ears, and a large white crispy pearl
- Festive Holiday Wreath (ABC Commissary): Cookie with mint marshmallow topped with white and green icing and a chocolate candy cane
- Cinnamon-Apple Lunch Box Tart (Woody’s Lunch Box): Lunch box tart with cinnamon apple pie filling topped with red cinnamon fondant
- Gingerbread Cookies (BaseLine Tap House, The Market, and Dockside Diner): Soft gingerbread dough topped with maple fondant and chocolate crispy pearls
- Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! gingerbread Cupcake (Trolley Car Cafe): Gingerbread cupcake with maple Bavarian filling, cream cheese buttercream, red and green sprinkles, and white chocolate Wayne and Lanny pieces
- Olaf’s Chocolate Marshmallow Verrine (Fairfax Cafe): Layers of chocolate cake, cream, chocolate fudge, and mini marshmallows topped with white chocolate pearls and a white chocolate Olaf topper
- Goofy’s Hot, Not Hot, Chocolate Verrine (Backlot Express and Rosie’s All-American Cafe): Layers of chocolate cake, cinnamon chocolate cream, vanilla cream, and cinnamon marshmallow topped with milk chocolate crispy pearls and a chocolate Goofy topper
- Strawberry Mint Verrine (PizzeRizzo and ABC Commissary): Layers of vanilla sponge cake, strawberry compote, mint cream, and vanilla cream topped with strawberry and white chocolate crispy pearls
- Caramel Apple Verrine (Catalina Eddie’s): Layers of chocolate panna cotta, caramel apples, caramel cream, dark chocolate and salted caramel crispy pearls, apple cream, and caramel sauce topped with dark chocolate shavings and a chocolate Mickey and Minnie Mouse topper
- Mickey Light-Up Tree Souvenir Popcorn Bucket (Various Popcorn Carts)
- Pajama Alien Souvenir Popcorn Bucket (Various Popcorn Carts)
- Santa Alien Souvenir Popcorn Bucket (Neighborhood Bakery)
- Holiday Festive Popcorn (Various Outdoor Carts): A sweet and salty mix of caramel popcorn, red and green candy-coated chocolates, white chocolate drizzle, and crushed candy canes
- Northern Lights Slushy (The Market): Blue raspberry frozen slushy with cotton candy
- Olaf’s Snow Flurry Slushy (The Market): Vanilla orange frozen slushy with whipped cream
- Holiday Mule (Oasis Canteen, Sunshine Day Bar, and Animation Bar): Vodka, limoncello, cranberry juice, and ginger beer
- Frostbite Cocktail (Oasis Canteen, Sunshine Day Bar, and Animation Bar): Vodka, blue curacao, cranberry juice, and sweet and sour mix
- Winterberry Margarita (Backlot Express, PizzeRizzo, ABC Commissary, and Rosie’s All-American Cafe): Silver tequila, triple sec, sweet-and-sour mix, cranberry juice, and wildberry syrup
- Hot Cocoa Flight (Fairfax Fare, Dockside Diner, and Woody’s Lunchbox): Flight of three hot chocolates with vanilla vodka, black cherry bourbon, and Irish cream liqueur
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
For the first time this year, the holiday festivities made their way to Disney’s Animal Kingdom as well. All across the park, there will be festive new entertainment and decor that brings the season to life in a unique way.
Handcrafted decorations all over Discovery Island create a unique celebration of winter with colorful animal-inspired luminaries, sparkly white decor, and bird-shaped wireframe lanterns. During the day, winter animal puppets gather around to interact with guests. In the evenings, the luminaries and lanterns fill the village with a festive glow. Tree of Life – Awakenings also takes on a special holiday twist with familiar Christmas music and wintry scenes projecting onto the tree.
Each area of the park is decorated with elements from the holiday traditions from that part of the world, including glowing flowers and lanterns in honor of Diwali in Asia. The celebration even extends to Pandora – The World of Avatar, which is decorated with vintage trinkets and handmade items brought by expats from Earth.
The Christmas spirit is carried through Disney Springs through with beautiful decorations, toy soldier stilt walkers, carolers, and festive living statues all around the marketplace. Select dining locations have also added special seasonal items to their menus for a limited time.
The highlight of the holidays at Disney Springs is the Christmas Tree Trail, which features a collection of incredible trees decorated with Disney themes like Frozen, Aladdin, Haunted Mansion, and many more.
Just outside of the Christmas Tree Trail, guests of all ages can meet Santa at his Chalet from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM daily through December 24. When Santa heads back to the North Pole on Christmas Day, Santa Goofy takes over for meet and greets through December 31.
While taking in the holiday sights around the marketplace you can join in Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt, a scavenger hunt for hidden “Stitches” all around Disney Springs.
For more information on the holiday celebrations at the parks, check out this Disney Holiday Guide!
Holiday fun can be found all across Universal Orlando Resort daily through January 5, 2020! You can celebrate the Christmas season with unique entertainment everywhere from the Wizarding World to Seussland and beyond.
Universal Studios Florida
At Universal Studios, the streets of London are completely adorned with bright lights and festive décor and just outside ofKing’s Cross Station, you’ll find buskers belting out holiday classics to entertain passersby. The celebration continues inside Diagon Alley with special holiday drinks and treats at various vendors and exclusive performances of festive tunes courtesy of Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees.
Each evening, the infamous Macy’s Day Parade makes its mark on Universal Studios with Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, a combination of Macy’s holiday balloons and Universal originals. The exciting procession through the park has more than a dozen giant balloons and 15 different floats. Expect to see some familiar faces, like the Minions, Shrek and Donkey, King Julien and the penguins from Madagascar, and more before the parade ends with Santa Claus himself!
Universal’s Islands of Adventure
Over at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, the holiday spirit is also everywhere in Hogsmeade, with garland and lights draped across every storefront. Seasonal drinks and treats can be found at shops around the marketplace, and The Frog Choir makes several appearances throughout the day to entertain the crowds with holiday tunes. In the evenings the Hogwarts Castle comes to life with The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts, a one-of-a-kind nighttime spectacular that illuminates the Wizarding World’s landmark castle with brilliant lights and high definition projections.
Seussland has been taken over by wild Christmas decorations and festive Who characters bustling around with excitement for the festive season and totally open to posing for a picture with guests visiting their little town. At The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular, you can enjoy a live retelling of the infamous holiday story starring The Grinch, Cindy Lou, and other characters.
The best-selling holiday artist of all time, Mannheim Steamroller, takes Music Plaza Stage at Universal Studios for stunning live performances on select nights throughout the holiday season. Get more information about all the special festivities in this guide to holidays at Universal Orlando!
SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration spreads holiday cheer across the park with delicious seasonal food, live entertainment, and festive shopping. In the Christmas market, you can enjoy a variety of festive treats, playful elves, a model train village, and live performances of holiday tunes on the Gazebo Stage.
In addition to the fun Christmas Market, there are several festive shows to enjoy around the park during the holiday season. Some favorites like “O Wondrous Night” have returned along with some new shows that made their debut this year! The full lineup of seasonal shows includes:
- O Wondrous Night
- Sesame Street Holiday Parade
- Sea Lion High: The Christmas Special
- Pets Ahoy
- Winter Wonderland on Ice
A variety of special characters are available for meet and greets throughout each day. Starting at 10:00 AM, Santa is hanging out at Wild Arctic to meet with guests of all ages. Rudolph, Bumble, Yukon, Cornelius, and Clarice can be found in the Christmas village starting at 5:00 PM each evening.
Busch Gardens Tampa
During the holiday season, Busch Gardens is transformed into Christmas Town Village, full of festive fun for guests of all ages. Along with several brilliant light displays, you can get in the Christmas spirit with exclusive holiday shows, character experiences, and other special activities. As you stroll through the park, you can stop at a variety of Christmas Town Village Cabins for delicious seasonal food and drinks. Each cabin has its own unique menu that matches the location’s theme, including:
- Cookies & Cocoa
- Sliders and Melts
- North Pole Bakery
- Holiday Comforts
- Waffle Wonderland
- Frosty Floats & Shakes
- Merry Mixes
- Holiday Cheers
- Jack Frosty Cocktails
- Holiday Brews
“Holidays at LEGOLAND, presented by Hallmark Channel” brings holiday cheer to the park on select dates. On event days, you can enjoy tons of seasonal fun such as holiday shows, exclusive character experiences, and festive LEGO building activities! Seasonal characters like LEGO Santa and LEGO Toy Solider can be found around the park, and guests can join in fun LEGO builds creating a giant LEGO wreath, life-size LEGO snowmen, and a sleigh with reindeer. Holiday entertainment includes the Holly Jolly Jubilee and the LEGO Christmas Tree Spectacular.
You can find discount tickets to all of these attractions and so much more on Tickets2You! Stay up to date on all things theme parks by following @Tickets2You on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or get the latest news delivered right to your email inbox by joining our mailing list!